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'Did Govt Buy Pegasus Or Not?': Rahul, Oppn Slam Centre After Meet

"It's being said that we are disturbing Parliament proceedings. We are not disturbing the House," Rahul Gandhi said.

Updated
India
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Fourteen Opposition parties, led by the Congress, met on Wednesday, 28 July.</p></div>
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Addressing the media outside the Parliament, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, along with several other Opposition parties slammed the Centre over reports of alleged snooping using the Pegasus spyware and said that the Parliament was not being disrupted by the Opposition as is being claimed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the address, which came after a meeting between 14 Opposition parties over Parliament proceedings earlier during the day, Gandhi asked the Centre to clarify whether it uses Pegasus in any capacity.

"We want to ask just one question. Has the Government of India bought Pegasus? Yes or No? Did the government use the Pegasus weapon against its own people? We have been told clearly by the government that no discussion will take place on Pegasus in the House," Gandhi said, reported news agency ANI.

'Matter of Treason, Anti-National Act': Opposition

Commenting on the disruption of Parliament, Gandhi said that a discussion on Pegasus reports was not being allowed by the Centre.

"It is being said that we are disturbing Parliament proceedings. We are not disturbing the House. We just want to fulfil our duties. This weapon has been used against India. It should be used against terrorists and anti-nationals," he added.

Gandhi further urged the "youth of the country" to ask PM Modi why a discussion on Pegasus was not being allowed in the House and asked why the '"weapon" was being used against democratic institutions.

"For us, Pegasus is a matter related to nationalism and treason. This weapon has been used against democracy. For me, it's not a matter of privacy. I see it as an anti-national act. Narendra Modi and Amit Shah Ji have attacked the soul of India's democracy," Gandhi said.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who was present at the briefing, said that the Opposition will stand united on the issues of national security and farm laws.

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The Opposition Meeting

Fourteen Opposition parties, led by the Congress, met earlier on Wednesday to discuss strategies for the ongoing Parliament Monsoon Session, where issues like Pegasus snooping reports, farm laws, and inflation were brought up.

Gandhi was also present at the meeting that was attended by the NCP, Aam Aadmi Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Shiv Sena, the CPI, CPM, DMK, Samajwadi Party, and the Muslim League along with other smaller regional outfits.

Addressing the media outside the Parliament earlier, Gandhi said that the Opposition wanted a discussion on specific issues.

According to reports, Gandhi in the meeting said that the Centre was trying to defame the Opposition over disruption of the ongoing Monsoon Session.

"We don’t want to compromise on the issues of inflation, Pegasus, and farmers' issues. We want the discussion in the House," he said, as quoted by ANI.

Meanwhile, Gandhi took to Twitter to share pictures from the meeting with the caption: "Sitting with the entire Opposition is extremely humbling. Amazing experience, wisdom, and insight in everyone present."

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PM Modi Asks to 'Expose Oppn' as Parties Up the Ante

The Opposition meet comes a day after PM Narendra Modi, in the BJP Parliamentary meet on Tuesday, blamed the Congress for not allowing the House to function.

According to news agency ANI, PM Modi further asked party MPs to expose the Opposition as it is not attending meetings or allowing the House to conduct any business.

Seven Opposition parties, except the Congress, on Tuesday sought time from President Ram Nath Kovind, to seek his intervention "to uphold the dignity of the Constitution of India and parliamentary rules and procedures".

The parties also expressed the wish to apprise him on the Pegasus issue, demand for repealing the farms laws, and urge him to direct the government to discuss both issues during the session.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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